“I know I’m saved” is the normal response from church people when defending their religious practices and beliefs. The “proof” of their salvation is normally that they have taken Jesus as their personal savior, joined the church and been baptized. All of which means nothing to the Lord. Two factors are commanded in order to be a child of God: faith and Holy Spirit empowered obedience. One can have the faith and obedience necessary for salvation only through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only those who have the Holy Spirit and obey it are true Christians (Rom. 8:14): “As many as are led by the Holy Spirit, (only) they are the sons of God.” The Holy Spirit leads us to obey God’s Word. The question is, do I follow where the Spirit leads?
Contrary to popular opinion, one who continues to sin after being “saved” in actuality “crucifies Christ afresh” with each sin (Heb. 6:6). To continue to sin following conversion forces the Lord to spiritually die over and over in order to enable the convert to do what he/she wants to do–please his/herself–which is in reality pleasing Satan. A perfect example of this is the episode that took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve obeyed Satan in order to please themselves. Doing so made Satan their god. Nothing has changed. If a “sinner saved by grace” does not truly repent and stop sinning, Satan becomes his/her god, which is the condition in which Catholics and Protestants unknowingly find themselves today. The Apostle Paul told the church in Galatia (1:6-9) that they had embraced another gospel–the gospel of self. He issued the same warning to the church in Corinth, telling them that, by listening to Satan’s tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear false prophets they had embraced another Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4). The modern church walks in the footsteps of their ancient Galatian and Corinthian forefathers. Paul warned the members of the Rome church that the wages of their sins was death (Rom. 6:23), and that the gift of God (salvation) was available only to those who obey Him by being led by His Holy Spirit, thereby making them sons of God (Rom. 8:13,14). Only sons of God will rule and reign with Christ forever. Sinning is the church member’s proof that he/she does not love Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:15,23).
The honest God-seeker must ask himself several questions: Do I obey God’s Word? and if so, why do I obey His Word? Do I obey Him in order to gain salvation, health, prosperity, a good standing in the church, a good feeling, etc? Or do I obey Him because I love Him? If so, do I love Him because He is God? Do I prove my pure love for Him by obeying His Ten Commandment Law, including #4? Would I love Him if there was no promise of eternal life? If not, my love for Him is artificial and based solely on what He has done and will do for me, which is the primary message being preached in Satan’s church system today. The pervasive theme coming from the world’s pulpits concern what we can get from God. We are never told that our overriding responsibility is to love God and to obey His Word as it is written. Such a message would empty every church building on the globe.
God commands us to love Him because He first loved us. God is love; love is what He is and what He does. In truth, this is the only reason we should love Him. All other reasons are secondary–the product of His cause and effect law of sowing and reaping. If we sow unconditional love toward Him, “… all these things will be added unto you.” We should not even think about the things of this life. Our hearts should be focused totally on Him. Jesus loved the Father at all times regardless of the circumstances in which He found Himself. Even as He was dying on the cross and feeling abandoned by His Father, Jesus’ love for Him never wavered. Can we do any less if we expect to join Him in the Father’s kingdom? No, as 1 John 2:6 tells us. We must “walk even as He walked” and “purify ourselves even as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:6).
God demands that our love for Him match Jesus’ love for Him. Our love must be unconditional. Paul’s love for Him never wavered even while enduring horrific treatment. To a man, the apostles’ love for Him and His Son did not waver even when death was only seconds away. Such must be our love for the Father and His Son if we hope to join them in Their Kingdom. L.J.